MONOLOGUE: Her Career Talk

by Natalie Smith

Setting:       An office in a university careers department, England.

Time:          Morning, present day

Character:   CYNTHIA, age 54, soon-to-be-redundant careers adviser.

CYNTHIA wears voluminous flared trousers and a tee-shirt bearing the words: “Loose Cannon.”  She sits on a chair talking to a student.

CYNTHIA

Don’t be formal. Call me “Cynth.” I’m here to guide. To advise. I will literally help you in any way I can. Relax. It’s only a short appointment. And I know all about those.  But you. Let’s find out about you. You are the most important person in my sphere.

(She waves her fingers in a circular motion starting over her head until her arms are at the side of her chair.)

Besides my husband, Joe, of course.

(Pause)

Did you have a good weekend? I did. Well, we did. The family. I suppose you don’t get the same warm experience living in halls of residence. Halls of decadence more like! I know what you get up to. I was young once. Mentally, I still am. They don’t appreciate that here. And look at my skin. Ding, dong, Avon calling!

(Spins slowly once on chair)

Anyway, me and mine were busy. First we went to my sister’s who’s literally almost a cordon bleu cook. Her husband, Roger, says, ‘her mashed potatoes are that watery you can squeeze them out.’ Doesn’t appreciate good food. What about a career in catering? We get lots of books here from the book man. Comes once a month. Dirt cheap. I’ve just bought Jamie Oliver’s. I love Jamie Oliver. His lips. So full. So generous. You say you’re doing psychology? Deary me.  I worked for a psychologist once. As his receptionist. He’d always ask me how I was when he arrived in the morning. That made me suspicious.  Continue reading

MONOLOGUE: Bunny-Boy

by Marijana Cosic

Setting:     Children playground in the local park

Time:        Daytime

Character: BUNNY-BOY, 28 years old

A silent girl is playing in the sand somewhere in the back of the playground. She is building a sandcastle and she doesn’t take notice of her surroundings. Centre stage is BUNNY-BOY, with rabbit ears attached to his head, a puffy bunny tail to his bum, he plays randomly with playground’s attributes.

BUNNY-BOY

I have been a furry for a while… (looks at the silent girl) Unfortunately my girlfriend over there is not. Which is hard… (sighs) yeah…

(Looks right, left. Speaks in confidence.)

You know what a furry means? No? Yes? …It’s a fetish… a silly game… sure it is. Although, it depends sometimes. I’m a human, that’s obvious. But my character is a white rabbit, my so called animal spirit. I don’t have a full suit you know, but I have 3 tails and a set of ears, all handmade. Kind of proud of it… And I don’t really participate in the furry culture, but… I am one. (sarcastically, annoyed) And no, I am not a giant muscular man-beast in the body of fat 30-year-old living in your parent’s basement.

(Looks at the girl.)

I want to tell her but damn it, don’t know how… You see her? Such a beautiful creature, isn’t she? Right there…love of my life… playing… Maybe if her mom was an animal rights activist, then it would be like…politically correct…and…she could like accept me…or…

(Grins, imagines.)

She would look great in fur… as a huge sexy Fox. I bet she’d like that.

Should I just tell her?

I think she just doesn’t want to be known as the girl going out with the freak… Few of people at my work told me it could turn out that way… No worries, I was smart enough to tell them a story about a “friend of mine.”

(Winks.)

And NO, I couldn’t ever imagine finding Bugs Bunny sexually attractive. That’s like finding a second cousin sexually attractive.

(Shrugs his shoulders.)

And yes, I’m prepared to be called a “Furvert”. Have you heard that one? I’ve heard pretty much everything you can call me…  Continue reading

MONOLOGUE: Eariwig

by Ann Harvie

Setting:     National Health Service GP’s surgery in a run-down area of Glasgow, Scotland

Time:        Mid 1960s, near the end of the evening

Character: ELLEN MACKENZIE, 46, an unmarried home help, originally from Sutherland but working in Glasgow.

ELLEN, prim, upright and respectable, sits in the uncomfortable surgery chair, telling the doctor, for the first time in her life, about her mental difficulties. She has a strong Highland accent.

ELLEN

I hear them speaking about me more and more, Doctor.

(Folds her arms and imitates a female, broad Glasgow accent, nodding her head sideways, as knowing gossips do) “Some home help that yin. Spends hauf the day starin’ oot the windae.”

(Imitates another female, less broad Glasgow accent, and acts as if nudging a fellow gossip) “She’s a spinster, you know. Never been a bridesmaid, never mind a bride.”

(In her own voice) But they call me Mrs. Mac anyway.

(Loudly and firmly, almost startlingly assertive) My name is Miss Ellen Mackenzie.

(In her own voice) I want to say that sometimes but I know they would just laugh behind their hands and still they would call me Mrs. Mac. It’s a mockery, to my mind, but I know they don’t mean it that way so I pretend I don’t hear them.

(Imitates a third female, Kelvinside, Glasgow posh accent) “Mrs. Mac does her best, but she doesn’t really understand what it’s like to have children.”

“Oh, but Mrs. MacPherson,” I want to say, “I do, I really do.”

I‘ve seen them, have I not, and aye, right enough, Doctor, my own mother as well, losing a wee bit of themselves with every baby. There was a thing the old wives used to say in Sutherland where I was born.

(Imitates an old female with a Highland accent) “Lose a tooth for every child.”

(Her own voice) But it’s more than teeth that they lose.

Baby after baby, wearing them out. But they love them, even so. And that’s fortunate, because without love, a baby’s just another parasite.  Continue reading

MONOLOGUE: The Perfectionist

by Katherine Burkman

SETTING:            A room or an empty stage.

TIME:                 The present.

CHARACTER:      ROGER, a man in his 20s or 30s

ROGER speaks to the audience. He is dressed to perfection.

ROGER

I have heard that one is allowed to make 26 mistakes a day. On bad days, one is allowed to make 50. Who has given this permission? I attend a 12-step program for perfectionists—I am a recovering perfectionist—and they provide these statistics at one of our meetings. I don’t know how many mistakes I make a day, but I don’t want to make any.

Needless to say this perfectionism has caused me numerous problems, probably about 26 a day and 50 on a bad day. When I was in school, I could never get myself to write or hand in papers that weren’t perfect. They had to be dragged out of me by the brute force of my mother, my father, my teachers, and finally even my shrink. Imagine a Jungian shrink dragging papers out of me. I don’t think so. But I was under a lot of pressure to produce.

I have found a job that allows me to enjoy my perfectionist tendencies. I sort things. Big things in this pile, small things in that pile, blue things in the other pile, etc. And I make the piles impressively neat. It doesn’t pay much, but at least I don’t lose sleep over my job.

It’s my social life that’s at risk, and this is where I need your advice. See, I met this really neat girl, well woman I suppose. And I want to ask her out. I met her at a party, a disorderly one where people were drinking a lot. I was very uncomfortable. Don’t get me wrong, I’ll take a drink of wine, but only one glass and I sip it. Well, this girl and I got to talking but she was slurping a glass of beer. Slurping. I liked what she was saying but I didn’t like the slurping. I had only just met her, so I could hardly say, “Look, I think you are attractive and intelligent and the right height, but I can’t abide the way you slurp.” I began thinking that if I married this girl, I could wait until we were married maybe six months and then tell her, but I don’t think I could hold out beyond a first date. There are other girls I haven’t taken out because of their slightly sloppy attire, their slightly too loud voices, or their slightly too big feet. You can see how perfectionism can inhibit one’s social life. I saw that movie recently, someone or other and the Real Girl. It was about a shy guy who bought himself a doll and got her organized. But that didn’t work for him and I don’t think it would work for me since I want some real love. Haven’t you found that when you criticize a date, she doesn’t usually want to go out a second time? I certainly have.  Continue reading

MONOLOGUE: I’m Fine

by Kate Berneking Kogut

Setting:      bare stage except for a table and chair

Time:          present

Character: Older ANNIE, middle-aged

A pool of light surrounds Older ANNIE.

OLDER ANNIE

I don’t remember the first time he hit me. Wouldn’t you think I’d remember something like that? The physical? That’s over for me. But the other…? Why does he still have so much control over me…?

(sits; struggles to collect herself)

I was in the kitchen earlier today – barefoot. I dropped a glass. It broke, of course, and I just stood there, waiting. I couldn’t breathe. Finally I heard him walking toward the kitchen and I was bracing myself because I knew I was going to hear how stupid I was, how clumsy I was. But all I heard was “Are you okay?”

(short beat)

It wasn’t “him.” I looked over and there was this incredible man with a broom and a dustpan saying something like “don’t move” and that he’d “get this” and before I knew it.

(smiles)

…I was laughing and crying and then he got concerned because he thought I was hurt—you know, that I’d cut myself, and I couldn’t…I couldn’t tell my husband that for a split second I thought he was someone else.  Continue reading

MONOLOGUE: Revelations

by Lucas J.W. Johnson

SETTING:           Hell

TIME:                Armageddon

CHARACTER:      SATAN, a.k.a. the fallen angel Samael, a.k.a. the Devil, a.k.a. the Adversary, a.k.a. the Crooked Serpent, a.k.a. the Prince of this World, a.k.a. the Dragon, a.k.a. the Accuser, a.k.a. the King of the Demons, a.k.a. the Ruler of Hell, a.k.a. the Antichrist

SATAN’s throne sits centre, and a side table holds a tattered old book and a pair of tongs. Satan sits in his throne, fuming. Through the monologue, he may stand, pace, etc.

SATAN

You know, the least they could have done was give me a warning. I mean, there I am, minding my own business, torturing the sinful and plotting the downfall of man, when suddenly, pow! These four horsemen go riding across the world heralding the beginning of the end and bringing war, pestilence, famine, and death in their wake. I mean, come on, that’s totally supposed to be my thing. Not the riding, though, I get horrible wedgies. I just mean the destruction and doom.

And you know where they come from? Scrolls. They spring out of scrolls. He’s sitting up there on His glowy throne like He’s so much better than everyone else, having praises sung to Him night and day, and He holds up these seven scrolls, and four of them turn into horsemen and go riding off. What’s up with that? I mean, what are they supposed to be? Angels? Hardly. Demons? Not mine, anyway.

And don’t get me started on the singing of praises. Talk about inferiority complex, if He needs people telling Him how great He is all the time. I know I’m great, I don’t need people telling me. The screams of the damned are all the proof I need. I mean, you gotta admit, Scientology was a stroke of genius. Got so many suckers with that one…  Continue reading

MONOLOGUE: Deep Inside, Far Below

by Judy Darley

Setting:       Jennifer’s home, the lounge

Time:           Day time, afternoon

Character:   JENNIFER, early 30s

Afternoon sunlight is streaming through a window stage right, but as the monologue continues it gradually darkens. A centre doorway decorated with colourful pictures as though it’s the entrance to a nursery. There’s a second door stage left. The nursery door opens and JENNIFER, a tired-looking woman enters the lounge and sits down on the sofa. JENNIFER speaks full front—she appears to be speaking to her husband.

JENNIFER

Eight weeks. It scares me sometimes when I think about how much my life has changed in eight short weeks. It feels like just a moment ago that I realised I was in labor, and at the same time, an entire lifetime. Which, for her, it literally has been. Eight weeks since this tiny creature came into the world, and somehow she’s managed to change it utterly.

Every time she cries I feel myself disappearing with each sob until there’s nothing left of me: no strength or willpower or intelligence.

(She stands, paces the room, arms out as though holding an invisible baby) I walk around the apartment holding this strange, screaming thing in my arms until I can’t remember who I am anymore, or who she is, or what we’re both doing here in this weird place between consciousness and the deep, sweet sleep I used to know.

(pauses briefly, resumes pacing, more slowly) I walk until my arms and legs are as numb as my brain, until I’m as likely to drop her as to hold her safe, and I freak
myself out until I’m crying harder than she is. Then you, my love, you walk
through the door and take her from me, and she stops crying, and, slowly, so do
I. Continue reading